ReconRobotics announces USMC Recon Scout order
ReconRobotics has been awarded a contract for 126 Recon Scout XT micro-UGV kits by the US Marine Corps (USMC) through the Robotic Systems Joint Project Office (RS JPO).
Announced on 14 March, the $1.7 million order is the largest USMC order for the company to date, and delivery is expected by 30 April.
‘Driving this series of orders are soldier requirements for throwable micro-robot systems that are much smaller and easier to deploy than the 30 to 60 lb Small Unmanned Ground Vehicles (SUGVs) that were widely used over the last decade,’ the company said.
‘Unlike the SUGV, the 1.2-lb (540g) Recon Scout XT micro-robot is deployed at the fire-team level, i.e. one robot for every four to five soldiers, to provide situational awareness and standoff distance as the team clears compounds, investigates suspected IEDs, or searches attics, culverts and crawl spaces.’
The XT can be thrown from some 120ft, and is able to see in the dark. The system serves to transmit video reconnaissance through walls and doors to a small handheld operator control unit held by the operator at a distance from the area being surveyed.
This contract follows four US Army orders for some 1,800 micro UGVs that have been placed in the last six months.
In February company representatives told Shephard that the US Army had signed a $13.9 million contract with ReconRobotics for the service's largest micro-UGV order to date.
'Although these 1.2lb robots are exceptionally small, they will play a big role in providing our warfighters with increased situation awareness and stand-off distance as they conduct operations in active combat theatres,’ Ernest Langdon, director of military programmes for ReconRobotics commented at the time.
The order comprises 1,100 Recon Scout XT micro-UGVs, which have been bought by the US Army Contracting Command on behalf of the Rapid Equipping Force. The deal includes accessories worth some $1 million, and deliveries for this order are set to be completed by 31 May.
An announcement was also made on 12 March which said that the US Department of Defense (DoD) is set to deploy 5,000 ‘ultra-lightweight’ UGVs to Afghanistan later this year, including the Recon Scout XT.
It is believed that four companies, including ReconRobotics, have all provided 100 systems to the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which is handling the requirement on behalf of the DoD.
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